LG has a proud tradition of making more effort than most to cater for the specific quirks of the UK's TV marketplace. For instance, it was the first brand in the UK to launch TVs with built-in Freeview recorders.
It's no surprise, therefore, to find that LG is the first brand to react to the demise of Panasonic's exclusive freesat TV deal. But, at around £1,100, can LG's first freesat set, the 42-inch 42LF7700 LCD TV with a 1080p resolution, really compete with Panasonic's already established and critically acclaimed freesat range?
Although not as attention-grabbing as some of LG's recent showboating TV designs, the 42LF7700 is still seriously attractive -- all drippingly opulent gloss black and minimalist lines.
It's also decently connected for a TV with both Freesat and freeview tuners built in, thanks to three HDMIs, a USB port able to play back JPEG and MP3 files, and a dedicated D-Sub PC jack. There's even an Ethernet port to support as-yet-unspecified future Freesat functionality -- kicking off, we suspect, with the BBC's.
The 42LF7700's freesat tuner isn't its only significant feature. You also get LG's TruMotion 100Hz video-processing system; a special processing mode optimised for 24p Blu-ray playback; LG's XD Engine processor; and enough general colour, noise and contrast-management tricks to keep a professional installer happy.
The 42LF7700's pictures sure know how to make an entrance too. Right away, we were struck by the exceptional intensity of the screen's colours, with colour-rich fare like the Blu-ray of computer-animated movie Ratatouille exploding off the screen.
The core brightness underpinning these ultra-dynamic pictures is impressive, making this TV an option even if your living room is perennially drenched in sunlight. The instant appeal of the pictures is further enhanced by their sharpness with high-definition content. Edges look crisp but unforced, detail levels easily reveal key HD elements like facial pores and clothing textures, and, thanks to the 100Hz system, motion isn't badly affected at all by the blurring problem common to LCD TVs.